Search engine optimization is not for every website. Although search engine optimization can really improve the organic search results for some websites, there are a couple of considerations when search engine optimization should not be considered and maybe a full site redesign may be a better investment of money and time.
When not to do search engine optimization:
If your site is created in a template and the site layout becomes broken when new content is added.
Your site looks funny in browsers other than Chrome and Firefox.
You have a site designed using Flash or tables for your layout.
Your website looks dated or non-professional.
As search engine optimization is not inexpensive, in some cases the money that would have been spent on search engine optimization would be better spent on a new search engine friendly design with built-in optimization features.
If your business is pulling back where can you realistically chop in your marketing plan and not get hurt?
Social Media – if you are paying to update Facebook, Twitter and Google+ you could easily take a break to save money.
Blogging – try not to kill all your writing as the SEO juice you get from well-written blog posts helps you in the long run, but maybe consider moving from three days a week to two or from two days a week to one. Try to still keep the momentum up but maybe lower the word count or frequency.
Google AdWords – don’t touch it unless you absolutely have to. AdWords is hands down the best way to generate new leads and start cash pumping back into your business.
e-newsletters – they build loyalty and repeat business. Newsletters are especially important to businesses that have annual renewals for service plans like pest control firms and HVAC firms. If you chop this, your name is not kept in front of your customers and come time to renew, they may not see the value of renewing; which will hurt your sales even further.
Voice search – it’s coming faster than you think, and I am already having clients ask how they can get ready now.
Here is some information to get you started thinking about what you need to do to be ready for voice search.
First what exactly is voice search?
Voice search is where you speak into a computer or smartphone and the device then performs a search for you returning relevant information and reading the most relevant information to you.
So how can you even get ready for something like this?
Make sure you take time to do a content review. Clean up, slim down content, review page titles and page meta tags and slim and trim what you have to be concise.
Use two and three word search phases as the focus of your content. Voice search will not be focused on the long tail phases.
Make sure you have your full address including city and spelled out state and your phone number that is clickable on all your website pages. To place on near me searches you have to have your location spelled out! Search engines will deliver your content for near me searches only when you are in close proximity to the end user.
Work to improve relevancy of your content and start to strip down your pages and break long content into multiple pages so that pages are on one topic, searchable by search engines and deliver answers to questions.
In our new world where over 65% of all Google.com searches are done on smartphones, what happens to a website that is not mobile-friendly in regards to lead conversions, store sales, and organic placement?
The PPC Picture
Google has lots to say on this topic of mobile friendliness. For sites that are not mobile-friendly and the business owner is advertising in Google Ads, Google flags the account with messages such as this:
“Avoid losing customers on mobile devices by improving your mobile site. Recommended because 98.57% of your mobile clicks go to non-mobile-friendly pages on your site. 68.97% of clicks from all devices come from mobile. 98.57% 138 of 140 clicks go to pages that are not mobile-friendly.“
As Google Ads is incredibly focused on relevance and offering the best user experience, I expect in the future ads that are not showing mobile-friendly pages to start to receive very poor quality scores driving up the click cost and reducing exposure due to a low ad rank.
Google has been pretty forthcoming in regards to page speed as well. A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. For a store generating $60,000 in sales a month, that is a loss of $4,200 in monthly sales. In a year, that translates into $50,400. A non-mobile friendly site is not optimized for speedy download and may be virtually impossible to use on a smartphone driving away potential customers. Many will never come back to visit. This is a very serious impact for Google Ad activity.
For sites that do not have a mobile-friendly website, conversion numbers are dropping in Google Ads. Mobile activity is a very big part of the conversion path now for sales and leads.
For some websites that are not mobile-friendly using Duda Mobile to do a scripted redirect to a Duda Mobile mini site worked – but no longer. Google Ads is aggressively disapproving ads for our clients that are using this approach and we are now having to remove the code from those websites effectively making them now not mobile-friendly for organic or for pay per click activity.
The Organic Picture
For organic traffic, know that Google now spiders the mobile version of a website and this is the content that now determines your site’s organic ranking on Google.com for all devices, not just mobile.
Additionally, Marketing and Growth Hacking states “Based on the blogs Google is putting out, we can confidently assume companies who don’t optimize for mobile will see their rankings disappear. At the same time, companies who adopt and take advantage of mobile-friendly sites early-on have and will continue to see higher rankings.”
I agree that if you mean to be in business, grow sales, and compete effectively, your website and store must be mobile-friendly.
Google says that as your site load speed increases from 1 to 7 seconds, your bounce rate increases 113%. Missed opportunities; bounced prospects means missed sales.
I tested my own website against a number of other sites on the Google Test My Site tool and here’s what I found.
My site www.mccordweb.com – 3 second load, excellent rating, low loss of visitors. My site is a responsive design in PHP and only uses WordPress for the blog.
Industrial company legacy HTML website that is over 8 years old, but the owner is not ready to do an update yet. 7 second load time, fair rating, 26% estimated visitor loss.
Service industry company legacy PHP website that is over 10 years old, but the owner is not ready to do a site update yet. 6 second load time. fair rating, 24% estimated visitor loss.
Doctor’s practice redone responsive WordPress website, but the owner was not speed-focused. 7 second load time. fair rating, 26% estimated visitor loss.
Technology business newly redone responsive WordPress website with a very glitzy look, but the designer was not speed-focused. 10 second load time. poor rating, 29% estimated visitor loss.
What I have found is that the WordPress sites with the slide show on the home page are not testing well for speed. The PHP based websites that do not have a slide show cover and are more text focused and utilize created AMP pages are testing as speedy.
How fast your website page loads in a smartphone or browser is really important. Not be paying attention to your website load time is a huge error in the world of Google today.
This is why knowing and working to improve your page speed and site load time is crucial.
Google has a new tool called “Google Test My Site”. This online tool will test your URL, compare your site to others, give you a rating, and even give you a free report and recommendations to follow to improve your speed.
Google says that your site will lose one-half of all your visitors while the page is loading. Know that 70% of visitors globally are surfing the web on 3G or slower speeds until 2020. Want more business? Speed up your website!